January 2009

Get Out And ‘Paddle-Plan’ with US!

Alright, it may be a little early to start getting your boat in shape for the 2009 season and to start into your spring paddling routines, but it is not too early to plan this coming season’s adventures. And if at least some of your paddling adventures are with your friends in the CPA, then perhaps you want to come help us start planning for our season to come as well.

A couple of the results of the last Annual Meeting in November of 2008 were that first, everyone loves the trips and the classes (especially the classes). And that secondly, we want to do as much, if not more, of them in 2009. So, let me not go in again about how great the volunteers are that make up the club, but rather say a big “Thanks” to all who made 2008 trips and events what they were last year.

Now, let’s do it again…only better!

It is still a little early to start telling you about what is planned for 2009, and that is exactly one of the points here. You can come help us make that plan. The first events slated for the early part of this year are the two CPA Trip Planning Meetings. The first will be at Ralph H.’s place in Laurel, MD, and the second will be at Cyndi’s and my house in Falls Church, VA.; an opportunity on both sides of the city. At the these meetings, everyone likes mostly to get together and greet those they have not seen in a few months, due to the cold weather, and of course the cold waters. The hosts always have some hot drinks, snacks and a fire to get everyone warmed up. As always happens when a gaggle of kayakers gets together, they all start talking about where they went last year to paddle, and where they want to go soon. And as you know, that is the perfect opportunity to make plans for 2009.

If you have led a trip for the club before or if you want to lead one in 2009, come help us talk about it and get it on the calendar. And, if you want a trip to happen, but do not feel like you could cover all the tasks necessary to make it happen, one of these planning get-togethers will be the perfect place to recruit help to make it so.

Let’s not forget that great paddle trips do not include only Day Trips in casual places. There are cool ideas for trips that cover all topics. The club would like to plan trips for the Sea Kayakers who are only just thinking about buying their first kayak, or have just done that and want to find a really soft way of introducing themselves to this many faceted sport. And then there is the other end of the scale; those battle-hardened surf-maniacs or speed-demons who want a real challenge against Mother Nature and their comrades. Those are the advanced trips, and also a great example of why trips should not just be trips. Those crazy paddlers are always looking for ways to improve their skills, learn more about staying safe on the water, or how to take their sport ‘to the next level’. That leads to the instructional events that the CPA likes to hold as often as possible. Two great examples of these are already shaping up for 2009. ‘SK101: An Introduction to Sea Kayaking’ is scheduled for March 14th this year. If you want a good intro into Sea Kayaking by those who live the sport, then sign up. And then, SK102 is scheduled for May 1st through 3rd. This is the best follow-on where you could spend an entire weekend learning and paddling with sea kayakers who are instructors for our club as well as professional sporting outfitters across the country.

Now these are only two of the skill events that are planned for 2009. The others are yet to be organized and announced. But I can assure you that we will see other events that will offer you as a Sea Kayaker introductory skills, safety skills, rescue skills, and navigational skills. And you can be a part of these events as both a learner and a planner. Make them happen.

Lastly, no list of enticing paddling events would be complete without mentioning the last and often the most enticing type of event, the overnighter. Have you been camping from your sea kayak yet? Do you envision packing up that boat with everything you will need to survive on your own comfortable for days or weeks out on an adventure? No? Well, maybe you like the idea of exploring somewhere new and far away from here, where you would have to stay overnight. Overnighter adventures can be comfortable in warm and dry lodges, as well as challenging in a tent under a moon-filled night sky. Either way, the CPA has offered completely planned events like these, both close to home and far away. Perhaps 2009 is the year to join or re-join on one of these adventures.

Well, whatever your draw to the sport of Sea Kayaking is, we would love to have you come out with us and spread the love of the sport. Arm-chair paddling is one thing (and I have a long list of paddling books to recommend that make that a great sport in itself), but the real thing has no comparison, as you obviously agree. So let’s all get ready for the next warm paddling season by planning now. Let’s all come together to add a few adventures to the list of on-water plans that everyone can make for 2009.

Every paddle is an adventure and that adventure is made by all of the paddlers involved.

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